Great news about the government funding for over 400 at risk heritage organisations and sites across England including Hartlebury Castle and St Lawrence’s Church in the constituency. The funding is the first tranche of funding for heritage as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund announced in July which will also help the wider arts, creative industries and cultural sectors. The heritage grants announced this week sum to over £100 million and are intended to help heritage entities survive the Coronavirus crisis and also to restart conservation and maintenance on heritage projects. This tranche included grants of between £10,000 and £1 million and a further round of grants of up to £3million will be announced shortly.
As Heritage Minister, I've been leading discussions with key heritage stakeholders and organisations such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England who assesses applications and administered this fund.
Coffin Bridge in Hanbury has also been awarded money and other Worcestershire beneficiaries include Great Witley Church and the Severn Valley Railway. This money sets out to support important heritage attractions to restart construction and maintenance on cherished heritage sites to preserve visitor attractions and protect livelihoods for some of the most vulnerable heritage specialists and contractors in the sector.
Throughout this pandemic, I know that our heritage sites have faced vastly reduced visitor numbers or closure and many essential building and maintenance projects ground to a halt. It’s been a damaging time for the sector and some or our most cherished local buildings and attractions were at risk of financial collapse by the end of the Winter. So I’m exceptionally glad that grants have been awarded to so many heritage entities in Worcestershire and right across the country which will help save them for future generations to enjoy.